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In the following 305 words, I will open your eyes and make you realize our Earth is dying. The cause is you; it’s your family, neighbors, and friends; it’s all of us. In contrast, you may not be the one throwing trash in the Pacific Ocean or owning a factory releasing toxic gases. The Roswell community doesn’t shy away from leaving a carbon footprint. We live in a beautiful city with restaurants, theaters, festivals, and fantastic shopping; residents tend to bat an eye when it comes to protecting mother nature. Being so privileged to access parks and trails, it only makes sense that we preserve and take care of what we have and fade our carbon footprint one step a time.

As a Roswell community, we can help the Earth by taking care of what we already have. The Chattahoochee River is well known to all Roswell and Georgia residents and being its caretakers is a role all of us should consider. Putting recycle bins along trails near the river would be beneficial to those who find trash along the riverbanks and trails. This will give people access to dispose of waste properly. Taking reusable water bottles rather than plastic ones on trails and on the Chattahoochee not only limits plastic consumption, but it also helps companies burn less plastic, which produce toxic fumes released into the air.

Another thing we can do is create events like ‘picking up trash day.’ An event like this could positively impact keeping the Chattahoochee clean and encourage others to do the same. Protecting our parks and trails won’t be easy and a one-day event won’t make it stay clean forever. It will take group effort and consistency, but if we can encourage others to be the Chattahoochee caregivers rather than a taker, the Roswell community will be a greener place.

The river has water flowing from the blue ridge mountains and is a heavily used water source in Georgia (photo credits: National Parks Conservation Association)